Adverse Weather or Emergency Operation of the University
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It is the policy of the University of Rochester to remain in operation and to continue regular services and schedules regardless of adverse weather conditions, transportation or utility problems, or general emergency situations. Exceptions to the policy may be made on a case-by-case basis and can include decisions to reduce services and/or staff levels.


Curtailment decisions: The decision to curtail services in the University or a major division of the University is made by the President and the Provost with the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs. (A dean or divisional manager may temporarily curtail services in a unit in a local emergency situation, after consultation with the President or Provost.)

Essential staff: If it is decided that some curtailment is in order, the objective of the University is to continue certain services with as normal a staff level as possible. In general, those services are defined as those of the Medical Center; security; central utilities plant; dining; housing; and other facilities services as determined by the Associate Vice President for University Facilities and Services. Personnel in those areas are deemed to be essential staff. (Other staff may be designated as essential by their supervisor for particular incidents.)


Initiating communication: Communication regarding curtailment-of-services decisions or emergency responses will be initiated by the decision-makers noted above. It is expected that notifications will be made, through normal reporting channels, to the deans or directors of the various divisions (for instance, Eastman School, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College, River Campus Libraries, Laboratory for Laser Energetics) and then, through their offices, to all faculty, staff, and student members of those respective University communities. Notification also will be made to the directors of Central Administration departments for further dissemination to those respective staffs.

Divisional and departmental communication plans: Each division is expected to have in place a procedure for communicating with its departments and with its faculty, staff, and students. In addition, each administrative and academic department, whether or not it is likely to remain open during curtailment of services, should have a plan for communicating any changes or important messages to members of that department. This plan should include a designated “communicator” with whom the department’s faculty/ staff/students should be in contact to give and receive instructions.

Classes: Faculty members should note to their classes that under almost all circumstances classes will meet as scheduled and if there is a question about a particular class to contact the departmental office.

University-wide and division-wide announcements: Broad-scale announcements about curtailments or closings also will be made available as soon as possible a) on the University of Rochester Information Line at 585-275-6111, b) on similar phone lines set up by some schools and divisions, c) through email notifications made by communications staff throughout the University, and d) in some situations, on the University’s homepage (